Sometimes people ask me, “Is it ok if his (grandma, cousin, aunt, friend, dog, fill in the blank) is there at the session, too?” Although I do understand where it comes from, I find this to be a strange question. Tell me they’re coming–It’s your playdate!

This is just one of the many things that sets me apart from other photographers.

Here’s how most photographers handle this issue; For some arbitrary reason, they include a cap on the number of people who can be included in a session. Maybe it’s 4 or 5… And then they start charging additional fees for every person over that initial number.

Why do they do this?

Who knows exactly where it started. Maybe back when film was precious it took more film to capture more people, or maybe it took more time and the sessions were scheduled to be very short. Maybe photographers were just not very patient. I can’t say for sure.

Today, people do it because they can. Because that’s how it’s always been, and because clients don’t know any better. Because, the way photographers have set up their fees does not pay them for their time. Anywhere they can get away with charging a little extra helps them gain ground in the losing battle they have set up for themselves.

This is why most photographers charge $50 for an 8×10 print and $1200 for an 8×8 album.

Rather than saying, “Please respect my work and pay me for my time,” they say, “I’m worried you won’t value me so why don’t you pay me a small session fee that gets you in the door, and we’ll figure out how to get you to pay the rest later.”

This is the world I was brought up in as a professional photographer. And it is because of that experience that I now operate in the fully transparent way I do.

So, how about it? Can both grandmas be in the pictures today?

My philosophy is that these are your pictures. This is your story. You know the right people to include! That isn’t something that is my decision to make. If Grandmas are part of the story today, they should definitely be there in the pictures.

This is your life. Isn’t it beautiful?



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